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You’ve been looking forward to showing your escape mettle all week. And now that you’re all inside the escape room, people start panicking. Here’s what you must do then.
Welcome to part II of Fox in a Box Chicago’s 2 part series on some tips and tricks of escaping escape rooms.
So...you and your team of Escapers (how cool would it be if you were ‘Avengers’ not ‘Escapers’?) have assembled at Fox in a Box Chicago well ahead of your time, as advised in the FAQ.
You’ve been signed in and briefed on your mission.
And then, with your excitement bubbling to no end, you’re led in.
The clock has started to run.
All of you look around the room. Then you look at each other.
And, suddenly, you’re at a loss as to what to do.
We get it. This happens more often than you might think.
Allow me to give you a few tips and tricks that should help you tide over such a situation.
1. Check whether you’ve got a team leader
I know what you’re thinking.
What the heck?
Wasn’t a leader supposed to have already been selected before the team enters the room? Wasn’t that your advice in How best to prepare for an Escape Room?
Yes, it was.
But here what I’m saying is that you need to check whether you have a team leader.
If people are panicking, if the team leader isn’t speaking up, if he isn’t acting to assign roles and stem the panic, he’s not a fit leader. Or, you have completely forgotten to select a leader.
2. Divide your hour up into smaller slots to keep track of progress
It sometimes does happen that you start off all guns blazing but get bogged down in the middle.
For example say there’s a riddle or a task that seems particularly nasty and just won’t get resolved; and it seems to you that there’s a conspiracy to stop you from completing the escape mission.
It’s easy for frustration to set in at this stage; however with only one hour in total on the clock, you cannot afford to get frustrated.
The way to keep a check on this kind of thing is to keep a track on progress.
Divide your hour up into three to four slots of twenty to fifteen minutes each. If you find that the number of puzzles tackled has gone down drastically from one slot to the next, maybe it is time to switch?
Ask a different player or team to tackle the puzzle that’s holding up progress.
3. Watch out for red herrings
You could face 2 kinds of red herrings
• Puzzles that are just time wasters; that is, they don’t contribute to your escape
• Something that’s presented like a puzzle but really is not, for example, a mysterious painting of an eye could be there just for immersion; it may not be part of any puzzle
So, watch out for these!
4. Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Most escape rooms allow you to ask for a certain number of hints.
However, many players or teams hesitate to ask for help because
They feel it’s too early to use up one of their hints
They see it as a sign of weakness
Maybe asking for help within the first 5 minutes is not advisable (since that really is too early) but apart from that, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Remember, you only get one hour, so ‘I’ll save up my hints for later’ is not such a good idea. Retaining all your allowed hints but not being able to escape is not a sign of success.
5. Remain tense and nervous throughout the game
Above all, an escape room is a place to have fun.
So, do plenty of that. There will be plenty of opportunities in life for you to be tense and nervous; an escape room is not one of them.
Do you have any other advice that could come in useful for people attempting to do an escape room? Please let us know in a comment below!